Below Deck Sailing Yacht star Gary King accused of sexual assault by production crew

Below Deck: Sailing Yacht star Gary King has been accused of assaulting a female member of the production team during filming of season four in July 2022. 

Samantha Suarez alleged the incident occured after a night out with the cast and crew in Sardinia, Italy. She claims that after a night out, during which time there is “no limit to alcohol consumption,” the group returned to the DoubleTree by Hilton Olbia-Sardinia, where they stayed before and during production. 

Gary has yet to comment on the allegations

There, Samantha – who joined the franchise in the make-up department on Season 10 of the original Bravo reality series, Below Deck, and whose job was to also assist the talent manager and make sure the crew received food and drinks as they remained isolated in their hotel rooms away from each other – helped Gary to his room where he began “behaving erratically,” and she left to get him water and food. When she returned, she alleges he answered the door in his underwear and asked her not to leave. 

“I stepped into the room to set the case of waters down and again, he’s repeating, ‘Don’t leave,’ and I was like, ‘I have to go, I’m not staying,” she told Rolling Stone before alleging that he “came up behind her, grabbed her, pressed her against his body and refused to let go of her”. 

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Samantha claimed she was then forced to “kick and elbow him to get him off her”. 

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She told production bosses immediately and Gary was given instructions to sleep on the boat for the duration of filming and not visit the hotel. 

Gary has appeared on the show for four yearsGary has appeared on the show for four years

In response, a spokesperson for Bravo said: “Bravo is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew on our reality shows. We require our third-party production companies to have appropriate workplace policies and training in place and a clear process on how to report concerns. The concerns Ms. Suarez raised in July 2022 were investigated at that time, and action was taken based on the findings.” 

However, speaking to Rolling Stone, other anonymous sources also spoke of the more than one incident that they had seen between Gary and members of staff, with one accusing the reality star touching a female member of staff inappropriately, and grabbing the genitals of a male camera operator; Gary had apparently been given multiple verbal warnings as well.

“It was insane. There were multiple incidents of sexual harassment in front of multiple producers after this person had been given verbal warnings multiple times,” the anonymous crew member claimed. 

Gary, Daisy and Colin from Below Deck: Sailing Yacht take a selfie© InstagramGary, Daisy and Colin from Below Deck: Sailing Yacht

In emails Samantha sent to Zach Klein, the COO of 51 Minds Entertainment, the production company behind Below Deck, she shared that in the days after “it feels like it was taken more as a misunderstanding, than it was as a physical assault/sexual harassment”.

“My feelings/emotions about what happened feel diminished. I can’t help but think, had it been a crew member, it would have been handled differently. I honestly feel quite traumatized by the whole situation.”

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HR put Samantha in touch with a counsellor and stayed in touch throughout production,  but she told Rolling Stone: “Nobody knew how to handle [my situation] and I think that’s why it was handled so poorly, because nobody knew what to do or what the right thing to do was. I was told there weren’t any protocols and the only thing was to reach out to HR but even then, nothing was really happening.”

Producers stepped in on Below Deck: Down UnderProducers stepped in on Below Deck: Down Under

The reports come weeks after Bravo was praised by viewers for the way they handled sexual assault between crew members on the fourth spinoff show, Down Under.

After a night out, in which Chief Stew Aesha Scott shared aloud her concern about the way Luke Jones, the boat’s bosun, had been speaking towards Margot Sisson, Aesha stayed with Margot and got her into bed, but producers were then forced to intervene when Luke entered Margot’s room and removed his clothes before getting into her bed. 

Aesha heard the commotion and returned to the room before then waking Captain Jason, who removed Luke from the boat immediately. 

Luke fired after sneaking into Margot’s bed while she is unconscious

The Chief Stew, a fan favorite, also shared her concerns with Captain Jason that Adam Kodra felt like his boundaries had not been respected by junior stew Laura Bileskine. 

“She’s just being a little too much, like hanging over me too much, kind of just like in my space. And I don’t want to be rude to her or make her feel embarrassed, so I’ve been saying no in a playful manner,” Adam told Captain Jason, who was also informed that Margot had been left in tears when Laura minimized her fears and told her that Luke was joking. 

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Luke and Laura were both fired and removed from the boat.

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Categories: Entertaintment
Source: HIS Education

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